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Jul 18

Topics: Eels unwind on US trip to hook Yankee fans

EXCESS LUGGAGE: Tracy McKelligott, left, is taking Eels merchandise with her to Seattle and has managed the first media appearance for Anthony Watmough, right.REMEMBER when an end-of-season footy trip meant a bus ride to Tuggerah?
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Not any more. The Parramatta Eels just splurged $250,000 to fly dozens of players, head office and coaching staff to the US – and it’s been masterminded by a Novocastrian.

Eclipse Media managing director Tracy McKelligott, who has the Eels as a client, landed in Seattle at the weekend before a 55-strong contingent.

‘‘I’ve bloody well worked for it,’’ she quipped to Topics, before flying out of Sydney.

‘‘I feel dead at the moment. Did the whole handover of everything today to the team. I go [as] forward party and then they follow.’’

McKelligott’s efforts are part of a noticeable smartening up by the Eels, whose backroom dysfunction once made Fawlty Towers seem like Ernst and Young.

The group will spend eight days in Seattle training and visiting the digs of the Seahawks NFL team, then visit the University of Washington’s proud football team, the Huskies.

Eels management have also teed up time at Major League Baseball team the Seattle Mariners, soccer’s Seattle Sounders, and the headquarters of Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon.

Every (football player-sized) meal from Sydney to Seattle and back again has been planned, as well as training, tickets, coaches and planes.

But surely the whole thing must feel like a bummer after superstar Jarryd Hayne’s departure to follow his NFL dream?

‘‘The mood is actually quite good amongst the boys,’’ says McKelligott.

‘‘I was a part of the Jarryd announcement and to be honest, the kid was truly doing what he said – following his dream. You can’t help but feel he is very brave. I will be catching up with him in LA.’’

Before taking off, McKelligott also managed Anthony Watmough’s first comments to reporters since becoming an Eel, and made sure the team’s 10 boxes of merchandise made the trip.

The plan is to recruit a few locals to the Parra cause.

Good luck with that.

THIS afternoon, as the rest of us fumble with tickets at the TAB, the CSIRO Energy Centre at Mayfield West will continue a Cup day tradition.

And as you’d hope, the rules to the scientists’ Melbourne Cup Paper Aeroplane Competition are delightfully specific: neat folds only; no crumples. Teams allowed one plane per event, with three throws. And the categories are:

Longest distance

Pretty simple. The plane that goes furthest without hitting the ground wins.

Design and construction

Planes are judged by a jury of paper plane origami experts on their creativity, design, construction and technical prowess.

Accuracy

The winning plane shall pass through a hoop, at a distance further than anyone else’s. The hoop will start at three metres from throwers, and move three metres further away with each elimination round.

Does your work have a Cup day tradition? Tweet @TimConnell or send your stories (with photos) to [email protected] herald苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au.

GLEN Fredericks, of East Maitland, was heartened to hear that John Spinello, the guy who invented Operation, will get the surgery he needs after an online fund-raiser (Topics, November 3).

‘‘I reckon the surgeon who operates on John Spinello will have got the game Operation as a kid, and beat all his family and friends at it,’’ says Glen.